Marx, Durkheim, Weber and Simmel on the Development of Capitalist Society and the Demise of Individualism

3251 Words May 24th, 2013 14 Pages
Marx, Durkheim, Weber and Simmel on the Development of Capitalist Society and the Demise of Individualism

Theorists began to recognize capitalism as pre-industrial society developed economically and major social changes began to occur. Modernization resulted in industrialization, urbanization and bureaucratization as the workplace shifted from the home to the factory, people moved from farms into cities where jobs were more readily available and large-scale formal organizations emerged. Classical theorists’ observations addressed numerous facets of social organization and interaction that came about as a result of modernization; however this essay will focus on their ideas regarding capitalism and the capitalistic society. Over
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The message adopted by these social structures had to be congruent with the ideology of capitalism. This dependence on the means of production was a state achieved quite likely against his or her will. The initial strength in his theory is in identifying and addressing his belief that the individual’s very consciousness is determined by his or her social being rather than the contrary.
Marx formed the theoretical framework that saw the division of labor as one of conflict where capitalism functioned as a system of oppression and exploitation of one class over another. Marx analyzes and examines the ideas of alienation, a natural development of capitalism wherein the individual becomes alienated from his or her work product, then his or her peers and finally the self. It is the owner then, not the worker that would own and profit from the end product. Marx, in the Communist Manifesto, states that the worker actually becomes the product. He or she is relegated to a wage laborer and according to Marx, a seller of themselves. It is then inherent in capitalism that the individual only sees himself or herself in terms of the relationship to the means of production and the corresponding social class.
Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) also examined the move into modern, capitalist industrial society, the division of labor and the relation to the means of production. He surmised this new economic state and the division of labor was the natural outgrowth of

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